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MSHA DEFERS ACTION ON SILICA RULEMAKING

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration last week removed the target date in its regulatory agenda for issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on exposure to crystalline silica. MSHA’s fall 2013 agenda stated that the agency would issue an NPRM during June 2014, just days away.
MSHA’s action is understandable. The agency stated earlier that it would rely in part on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulatory analysis developed for that agency’s currently proposed silica standard. However, that analysis has received a barrage of criticism since OSHA published it eight months ago, significantly delaying the agency’s own time schedule as it attempts to address hundreds of public comments.